Being in debt sucks-especially if the monthly payments take up the majority of one’s free cash flow. That’s what is happening to me. I have a good amount of debt, in the form of a mortgage, car note, student loan, and credit cards. It’s not an outrageous amount (in my opinion), but still more than I’d like.
I have finally decided to make a change. I am tired of it all. I want to be a little less stressed about how I will pay for everything, and I want to begin seriously building my net worth. I want to have flexibility when it comes to my career (as long as I don’t have to stress about how I’m going to pay my mountain of debt, I can be just a little more selective in my choice of jobs, right?). After all, I have a child. Should something happen to me (or should I say “when” something happens to me), what will I leave for her? A large credit card balance to pay off? I don’t think so.
My decision to seriously attack my debt has come with a huge shift in mindset. Since I am not making any significant amount of additional income that can be used to pay down the debt, I have to change the way I spend. The goal is to spend less than I earn, a theme that I have heard throughout my adult life. To change the way I spend, I have to stop WANTING so much. This is easier said than done, but I am working on it, and it CAN be done.
Not to point the fingers at others, but the way a “good life” is portrayed in America is all wrong. Most commercials show “happy” people with lots of shiny new things. I have learned the hard way that falling into that trap and buying all of those new things is exactly what leads you down the road of debt destruction.
I have decided that those improvements I want to do to my home will have to wait. They are no longer high priority. Please understand that my house is not in terrible condition, I just WANT a change-a change including new hardwood floors, a glass kitchen backsplash, an outdoor deck, pergola, and fence. That isn’t too much to ask for, is it? Well, it is-especially in this economy.
Once I have managed to pay off my credit cards, student loan, and auto loan (I’ll just keep the mortgage), I’ll be able to breathe easier. I will also be able to save my income in order to make the improvements to my home and pay for them in cash. Some “experts” may not think that is a good use of cash, but this is my life, and I’d rather live it knowing that I don’t have to make monthly installments on the material things that I desire.
I’ll be using every debt reduction strategy in the book, but I am confident that I can do it. Changing my perspective on spending is, as they say, “half the battle.”